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Obama: I Was Too Polite In The Last Debate

President Obama thinks he’s figured out what went wrong last Wednesday:

WASHINGTON — In addition to refiguring his approach to and preparation for the next debate, part of President Barack Obama’s task is to reassure a base in despair. During a radio interview with Tom Joyner Wednesday morning, Obama tried to do just that, telling the hugely popular host that he understands he has to go for the jugular when he meets Mitt Romney again next Tuesday. Below is a transcript sent out by the Tom Joyner Morning Show:

Well, two things. I mean, you know, the debate, I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true. It gets repetitive. But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Governor Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term.

…And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one.

Even if we accept that what the President is saying here is true, or at least that he believes it, it presents him with a bit of a conundrum for next week’s debate. As I’ve noted before, that debate is a “Town Hall” style debate where members of the public will be present in the studio with the candidates and asking questions. It’s a much more intimate format than the debate we saw last week,  and it’s one where being aggressive can be difficult. As many have observed, it’s much easier for a politician to be be aggressive against an opponent when they are standing behind podiums taking questions for a single moderator or a group of journalists. When they’re standing, because you usually don’t sit during these town hall debates, in a small area surrounded by voters, it becomes much harder to become aggressive against your opponent and it often comes off completely wrong. Case in point would be this encounter between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000 (the title of the video is not my choice):

There were many people after that debate who thought that Gore hurt himself by trying to play a dominance game with Bush by basically walking up next to him and getting in what some would call his “personal space.” Indeed, Bush’s response to Gore’s actions, a simple nod in his direction as he continues to answer the question, elicited laughter from the audience, which strikes me as an indication that the audience was at least a little uncomfortable with what Gore was doing here.

There are many things that Obama can do to improve his performance in the next debate. Indeed, as I’ve suggested before, the “Town Hall” format is likely to work in his favor because it’s something he’s been doing since he began running for President in 2008. Romney does these kinds of forums as well, but it’s always seemed to me like he’s slightly uncomfortable with the format and would prefer to just give a speech. So, Obama goes into next week’s debate with what I think is an advantage. He risks blowing that advantage, though, if he ends up being perceived as overly aggressive toward a candidate whose likability ratings have improved markedly over the past week or so. I can understand why Obama’s supporters might want him to strike out next week, but it would be unwise to do so too aggressively, which is why I think Obama’s comments today are pretty much just meant to reassure supporters, not to state an actual strategy.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. pajarosucio says:

    I imagine he means to be more assertive and less passive, not necessarily to be belligerent.

    Many people have criticized Lehrer’s moderating of the last debate, but for whatever his strategy was Romney took full advantage of it whereas Obama was overly deferential. In that regard he was “too polite.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. Maxwell James says:

    Yes, and Romney was going to win the last debate with “zingers.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. Geek, Esq. says:

    Ezra Klein nails why Obama was bad in that debate, and captures why folks sure as myself and Andrew Sullivan got so freaked out by it. It’s not that he was bad, but rather that the reason he was so bad goes straight to the heart of his candidacy.

    I went back and read the transcript, canceling out the relative effects of the candidates’ stage presence. On paper, Obama came off, if anything, a bit worse. It is startling how little he said about his agenda and how little passion he evinced for any cause other than stopping Romney. On the heels of a workmanlike convention speech that was particularly lacking in what used to be called “the vision thing,” his debate performance speaks of a deeper problem. Obama, at the moment, doesn’t have anything particularly inspiring to say.

    It might be that polls and focus groups have given the Obama campaign reason to retreat from presenting a bold agenda for a second term. But the dulling of the vision has led to the dulling of the candidate. A quick glance at the polls suggests voters don’t seem to like that much, either.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-10/romney-beats-obama-on-hope.html

    Romney has flipped the script on Obama, Axelrod et al in a most masterful way.

    Obama needs to discover that vision thing, or things are not going to get any better for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. wr says:

    @Geek, Esq.: Two people I never bother to listen to: Andrew Sullivan and Jay Tea. But at least Sullivan writes under his own name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  5. Geek, Esq. says:

    @wr:

    Oy. I used to post at Daily Kos under ‘geekesque’ genius.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. john personna says:

    Plenty of smart people must be thinking about how to take down Mr. Etch-A-Sketch. Let’s hope Obama picks a good plan.

    Maybe a straight up “on such and such date your advisor announced the Etch-A-Sketch plan, and this week you unleashed it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. bill says:

    he was too “something”- i don’t really think he wants another 4yrs and this is the way to do it maybe?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  8. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Honestly, Obama’s campaign has been too much about taking Romney down, and not enough building himself up with the voters. Any shots–especially in a townhall–should be very limited in number and done with a dose of humor.

    Obama would have been fine in that debate not taking Romney down at all if he had done an adequate job making the case for his vision of the country’s future. This is one area where I really miss Clinton’s ability to weave the small points together to make a big picture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    What I heard from Obama was a moderate path forward, sane and rational, an appeal to good governance. Romney suddenly said “me too!”

    Now can Obama do an exciting vision thing without moving left?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  10. C. Clavin says:

    No question he let Romney get away with far too much.
    Now…is Obama going to get up in Romney’s grill? If that’s what you think you haven’t been watching Obama very closely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. Dazedandconfused says:

    The challenger always has the advantage in the optimism dept, Geek, no record to defend. People tend to elect optimists too.

    It’s too early to tell if Obama is over-matched. He’s always been a calculating counter-puncher, not a reflexive one. He also practiced for the first one against John Kerry. Like practicing with Droopy for a match with Ricochet Rabbit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I found that article to be quite interesting.

    This Tom Joyner character is described as a “hugely popular host.” Until this literal moment I’d never heard of him. I guess I’m out of the loop.

    In reading Obama’s comments, bertween the lines of course, I can’t help but wonder if he’s suffering from what the DSM specifies as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Two hallmarks of that condition are exaggerated senses of self-importance and expectations to be recognized as superior.

    Think about it. Obama gets his clocked cleaned in a debate, and is made to look like a bumbling fool, and in his mind it’s all about him, not about Romney. He simply can’t bring himself to say something along the lines of Romney had his day and he’ll have his, or he underestimated Romney but won’t make that mistake again, or whatever. He can’t even damn Romney with faint praise. It’s all about him. Wow. Dude is twisted up in the membrane.

    That aside, I doubt Obama actually intends to be a pitbull at the next debate. Obama might very well be suffering from a personality disorder, or perhaps a mood disorder, but he ain’t dumb. Far from it. He’s a pretty smart guy. I suspect that interview merely was a little red meat for his young and addled supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

  13. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “I can’t help but wonder if he’s suffering from what the DSM specifies as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Two hallmarks of that condition are exaggerated senses of self-importance and expectations to be recognized as superior. ”

    I realize that you are completely unaware of every news source in the country, as you explain every time you post, but I’d think even you would notice that Obama is the President of the United States. Which means that he is important and — in terms of power and standing in our society — he is superior. That’s not narcissism, that’s reality — and I would say the same for any president.

    “Think about it. Obama gets his clocked cleaned in a debate, and is made to look like a bumbling fool, and in his mind it’s all about him, not about Romney. ”

    Well, just about everything I’ve read about the debates talked about how terrible Obama was. He’s saying he’ll be better in the next one. Which makes sense, because his performance is the only thing he can control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I greatly enjoyed the spin around here after the first debate — in essence, Obama wasn’t prepared for the brain-damaged, tax-felon, killed-a-woman-with-cancer serial liar to come into the debate and repeat all the lies he’s been using on the campaign trail for months. Is that how it was?

    I’m positively giddy to read the spin after the Biden-Ryan debate. Just for starters, I wanna hear these two proud Catholics discuss abortion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  15. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    When you put it that way, Obama foolishly belived he’d face the same lies in play the previous week.

    Reuters has some story up about how politicians lie because it works. Still the “we reject fact check” campaign has taken it to the Nth. They just lie about lying.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  16. JKB says:

    Well, Ann Althouse rewatched the debate and thinks Obama did good. I guess the problem is Romney did better. And for all the Liberal pundits he apparently was amazingly unlike their characterizations. You have to be careful not to get sucked in by your own lies. It’s rough, that’s what got the big banks in trouble when they started buying their own mortgage securities. Interestingly, Althouse things the Obama did bad theme was Obama getting de-Journolisted with a coordinated story line.

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Didn’t you hear, the LightWorker was light-headed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  17. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    So, what do you think of Romney’s 20% tax cut evaporating?

    Is it exciting to have a plan where everyone pays the same?

    Do you believe it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  18. bandit says:

    When Obama has to speak without a teleprompter he’s a stammering idiot.Always has been, always will be.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 22

  19. john personna says:

    @bandit:

    Heh. You are saying Obama is a stupid person’s idea of a stupid person?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Dazedandconfused:

    Kerry won all of his debates against Bush. Not his fault Obama had very little to say about his vision of the future, or somehow forgot to mention the auto bailout in a debate about jobs and the role of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Geek, Esq. says:

    @JKB:

    Ann Althouse is perhaps the most vapid blogger on the Intertubes.

    It’s pointless to watch a debate twice to judge its effectiveness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Hey Bandit…how’s that lead dogs ass smell???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones.
    What a f’ing joke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. jan says:

    In ’08 I was not particularly a Romney fan. He seemed as exciting as watching paint dry on a wall. When he threw his hat in the ring in ’12, I still was not convinced. In fact the only thing really appealing about him was that he seemed better than all the other R candidates who were running in the R primary. So, I supported him for prez.

    But, the more I read, hear and see this man, I have become a solid supporter of him. Gone is what I perceived as ‘boring,’ and in it’s place is someone who I see as an ethical, smart man motivated to run because of a commitment grounded in making a positive contribution to turning this country around.

    He reminds me of my own grandfather, who was initially introduced to my grandmother as being too boring to hold the interest of her girlfriend. Despite this lack-luster appraisal they married, had a farm in ND, he acquired a law degree becoming a small town lawyer who accepted payment for his services in pies, chickens and eggs. Needless to say they did not get rich. But, he was elected as AG to the state of ND, this boring but honest lawyer of the people. I went over this family history with my Mom today, on her birthday, and frankly thought of Romney, and how he has been overly-ridiculed and under-estimated throughout this election.

    Last week, Romney was himself, as was Obama. The reason that Romney seemed to out-perform himself is that he finally was able to control his own presentation of himself, ideas and experience. Obama, disappointed, because he was not shielded by any gimmicks or biased filters. What you saw was raw footage of real people. Both presented their vision of their policies how they saw them — unvarnished and philosophically correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  25. C. Clavin says:

    Jan…
    Your Grandfather is a serial liar???
    He took people’s pensions and insurance out from under them?
    He was a corporate welfare queen???
    He beat up gay kids in HS???
    Nice Grandfather.
    Explains a lot about you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  26. Tillman says:

    @jan:

    Gone is what I perceived as ‘boring,’ and in it’s place is someone who I see as an ethical, smart man motivated to run because of a commitment grounded in making a positive contribution to turning this country around.

    You lost me at “ethical.” Kind of skimmed the rest. I’m not getting the analogy between Mitt Romney and a country lawyer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  27. Mr. Replica says:

    When we have segments like this from the Daily Show. Where Stewart pretty much eviscerates Romney/Ryan(and anyone who thinks Romney/Ryan are serious)…one has to wonder why Obama just doesn’t take this already formulated attack and run with it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. jan says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Go to He**, Clavin! You take your glib remarks too far — insulting, in fact!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  29. C. Clavin says:

    Jan….
    You made the comparison…not me.
    I never met your Grandfather.
    Kind of mean what you accused him of, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. bk says:

    jan, I call bs on that story. And JKB, you’re using ANN ALTHOUSE as backup for your views? I would maybe value her opinion on box wine, but that’s about it. She and that legal insurrection idiot are in a race to the bottom when it comes to blogs run by lawyers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. bk says:

    @Tillman:

    I’m not getting the analogy between Mitt Romney and a country lawyer.

    Well, Romney has a law degree. And he was born in this country. So there you go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    OK, I missed part of it. Obama’s surrogates have called Romney a felon over Bain matters, said he didn’t pay taxes for ten years, AND accused him of killing a woman with cancer, and all of a sudden Obama himself is too polite?

    Ace of Spades nailed it: Obama’s CritiBragging.

    I don’t have to go into detail about why the CritiBrag — the claim of self-criticism which, oddly enough, winds up being a brag on one’s virtue — is kinda sorta complete 100% bullshit. Every time you’ve told a prospective employer that your “greatest failing” was that you “are too details-oriented” and “can’t learn to separate myself from my work” you’ve deployed the CritiBrag.

    I’d go on, but I’m too nice a guy to rub salt in the wounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  33. David M says:

    @jan:

    The reason that Romney seemed to out-perform himself is that he finally was able to control his own presentation of himself, ideas and experience.

    That only matters if you don’t care that Romney’s tax plan is impossible and every time he speaks about it Romney is dishonest. Some people don’t view that as a positive thing, no matter how well Romney sounds when he’s selling his nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  34. Mr. Replica says:

    @David M:

    I will most likely be ostracized by my friends and the Star Wars community for doing this…

    Specifics. Heh. Consistency. Heh. A Romney supporter craves not these things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. G.A. says:

    Obama lost that debate because he sucks….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  36. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Gone is what I perceived as ‘boring,’ and in it’s place is someone who I see as an ethical, smart man motivated to run because of a commitment grounded in making a positive contribution to turning this country around.

    You know, I would have agreed to that until I saw the 47% video…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: You know, I would have agreed to that until I saw the 47% video…

    Oh, horse crap. Romney was talking about writing off their votes, not them as people. And the “complete” video has a very suspicious edit in it right between the first and second parts.

    That video is worthless except as an excuse for the dishonest to rationalize their opposition to Romney.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  38. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, horse crap. Romney was talking about writing off their votes, not them as people. And the “complete” video has a very suspicious edit in it right between the first and second parts.

    Dude, Romney already figured out how to deal with the 47% comments. You didn’t get the memo.

    They’re going with a Rick Perry-esque “Oops” over the Breitbartian “very suspicious edit” angle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  39. Jen says:

    Last week, Romney was himself,

    And which himself was that? Romney has more personalities and positions than Sybil. I honestly do not understand how any of his supporters think that they really know what they will be getting if he wins. It’s the mirror opposite of what they said Obama’s supporters fell for: all they want is a change, they don’t seem to care much that their candidate is trying to be all things to every potential voter.

    Huntsman was right–this guy is a well-oiled weather vane.

    On the town hall debate–Obama needs to look more comfortable and be more relaxed than Romney. Subtle humor will go a long way in helping to make his points without seeming overly aggressive. Reagan was a master at this. Romney seems ill at ease in settings like this. Again, appearance matter as much as substance. If Romney seems uncomfortable talking with “regular folks” and Obama seems to enjoy it, the debate “win” will go to the President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    It was analysis, not advocacy or saying it was Kerry’s fault.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    Of course you’re in the bag for Romney. You’re a right wing shill, so you’re looking to defend your guy no matter what. And, had Gingrich managed to win the nomination, you’d be doing the same thing.

    As for your personal stories, they always strike me as too good to be true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. JKB says:

    @G.A.: Obama lost that debate because he sucks….

    I disagree. This is an election about the future direction of this country. Obama is the embodiment of Progressivism and he couldn’t sell it in a head to head comparison. “He sucked” is just the Left trying hard to save Progressivism from being shown for what it is.

    On the upside, when Obama loses, after the threatened riots by “enlightened” Liberals, we’ll see them tear Obama apart and all his dirty little secrets will be shouted from the MSM mastheads. It will be the bestest Christmas gift ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  43. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    JKB, when Romney is on tv promising to “restore” Medicare and Sociali Security funding, who is the Progressive?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. C. Clavin says:

    @ JKB…

    “…Obama is the embodiment of Progressivism…”

    Obama is the embodiment of a Centrist. He has passed, or tried to pass, Republican policies and programs. The PPACA, Cap-and-Trade, the Dream Act…all moderate programs that came from Republicans.
    What you and other partisans like you fail to realize is that you have become so radical in reflexive response to this Centrist President that your perspective is skewed. From as far right as you are…the Center LOOKS LIKE Progressivism.
    Reagan couldn’t get elected today. That should tell you something about how radical Republicans have become.
    I realize you won’t be able to comprehend this….because of the Dunning-Kruger Effect…but I feel like I have to try.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  45. john personna says:

    By the way, another thing I heard Mitt Romney say yesterday was that he’d “restore the home real estate market.”

    How does that work?

    How does a “get government out of my pocketbook” guy, do that?

    And why would a conservative, a non-progressive, want to?

    (I actually think low real estate prices are better for the country in the long run. You can’t “fix” underwater mortgages without returning to the other problem, of unaffordable homes.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @ JP…
    Romney’s solution is to let everyone go under, so speculators can snatch up homes for nothing, and then rent them back to the people who went under.
    It’s kind of the Housing version of his solution for the Auto Industry.
    Of course Romney’s all encompassing plan is that everything is going to better when he is President…just because.

    By the way Weekly Jobless Claims fell to a four year low…lowest since February of ’08 near the beginning of the Bush Contraction.
    If Romney is elected he will simply benefit from Obama’s recovering economy…and take all the credit. Imagine the crowing of low-information people like Jan and Eric and JKB and Doug then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    By the way, here’s something I heard Obama say, the attack on the Benghazi consulate and murder of our Ambassador was because of a video protest. Only there was no protest when the attack happened. And it s now been admitted that the White House knew within hours that it was a terrorist attack.

    So who’s the bigger liar? A candidate discussing future policies or a President purposely lying about actual events and actual intelligence analysis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  48. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Romney was talking about writing off their votes, not them as people.

    No he wasn’t.

    That video is worthless except as an excuse for the dishonest to rationalize their opposition to Romney a look at the real Romney.

    FTFY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Letting the market clear would actually be the right thing to do, and that would include encouraging people too far under to just walk away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. C. Clavin says:

    @ JP…
    Maybe. But “the market” is a fallacy.
    The guys that caused the biggest economic crisis since the Depression got bailed out. That’s got nothing to do with “the market”.
    I don’t like the idea of the little guys who got screwed by the big guys not getting bailed out same as the big guys.
    I say let’s put some people in jail where they rightfully belong…and then maybe we can talk about “the market”. Until then “the market” is only an excuse to f*** the little guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. john personna says:

    I’d say the “free market” is a simplification, but it is fundamental to all market democracies that a market allocates scarce resources. Houses, especially in densely populated areas, are scarce resources. Price allows the person who values a property most highly to out bid all others for it.

    Several things perturbed the home real estate market across affluent market democracies, but continuing the perturbation is not a good answer.

    Government policies that seek to inflate those prices are especially bad answers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. Andre Kenji says:

    @john personna:

    I actually think low real estate prices are better for the country in the long run. You can’t “fix” underwater mortgages without returning to the other problem, of unaffordable homes.

    The problem is that housing is part of the cost of living. If real estates prices are low so people are spending less with housing and business are spending less with rent(What allows businesses to have more capital to invest). So, this should be good.

    Unless you are using houses to do financial speculation, not to live.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. john personna says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    The unfortunate pattern, reinforced by government, in the US is that a family’s home be their “single largest investment.”

    That only really works if you have ranks of ever richer younger generations coming up, ready to buy million dollar starter homes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. C. Clavin says:

    @ JP…
    I do not think prices should be artificially inflated…especially by the gubmint.
    But I think there needs to be some relief to those affected by the misdeeds of others. You can’t just say tough luck…when we spent billions bailing out the ones who f’ed up the works to begin with.
    And to be clear…I say that as someone who has come out of the Great Bush Contraction stronger than I went in…so I’m not just being self-interested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. john personna says:

    @C. Clavin:

    If a home owner is really badly under water, then the “relief” built into our system is to walk away and stick that bank with the loss.

    I know of no other solution that does not create moral hazard or economic inefficiency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Fiona: Of course you’re in the bag for Romney. You’re a right wing shill, so you’re looking to defend your guy no matter what.

    And you’re in the bag for Obama, because you’re a left-wing drone with zero ability for independent thought.

    That about right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  57. Barry says:

    @john personna: “If a home owner is really badly under water, then the “relief” built into our system is to walk away and stick that bank with the loss.”

    It depends on the state – in some states, they’d still be on the hook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0